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howto using weberp logo
03-07-2017, 09:07 AM
Post: #1
howto using weberp logo
Hi all, is there an "official" webERP logo, and what are its terms of use?

I decided to attend the annual local electronics trade show later this week to see if there is any interest in using webERP for small-shop PLM and engineering manufacturing (i.e. not finance per se). The only webERP image available from the project seems to be the one in the source (used in the login prompt), but it's 200x51 pixels and isn't suitable as-is for a 20"x30" poster. Google found an SVG webERP image in the WikiMedia Commons. It lists the author as "webERP Developers", but doesn't seem to be referenced from weberp.org, and doesn't include a license statement or terms of use. Fwiw, I find how WordPress handles logos simple and easy to follow, and I think encouraging a consistent brand could only be good for webERP.

My pitch at the exhibition will be to use webERP instead of Excel for managing lists of part numbers, assembly BOMs, and suppliers, to keep track of prototype parts and samples, and to use webERP's Knowledge Base to store documents instead of a "Z-drive" open network share. My argument will be that data needs to be controlled and readily accessible for efficient operation, and not squirreled away on someone's local drive or worse in open network share where the origin can't be trusted and can be easily overwritten or deleted by accident.

You can see the draft poster on my blog. I intentionally focussed on PLM and manufacturing features, and left out many features to keep the poster simple and to the point. Please let me know if you think the poster doesn't comply with the philosophy of the webERP project or if you have suggestions for improvement.

Cheers!
Dale

P.S. I had a couple problems with MyBB I couldn't find solutions to within the webERP forum or the MyBB docs. 1) I wanted to insert a username reference and while the MyBB docs indicated "[@phil]" would work, the preview didn't render a link. 2) I wanted to put an poster image into the body of the post, but I couldn't find how to scale the referenced image smaller (it's poster size! ;-)). If anyone has a solution to either problem please let me know.

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03-07-2017, 09:25 AM
Post: #2
RE: howto using weberp logo
Dale, the logo itself is years old. As I remember I asked on the mailing list for design ideas and got several through. At one point they were all included within the distribution but they seem to be dropped now and only the one survives. If necessary I could find who designed that particular one.

Am pretty sure the svg file you point to was produced by Rafael Chacon. I don't think he follows this forum but you can locate his email from the mailing list.

Hope this helps with at least part of your query,
Tim
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03-08-2017, 08:25 AM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2017 09:10 AM by dalescott.)
Post: #3
RE: howto using weberp logo
Ok. I can chase this down so long as there is motivation to add a "Trademark and Logo Policy" to the website summarizing the rules. How is the structure of the project and website/forum determined? Should this be discussed on the developers list instead of in the forum? @phil?

Others may disagree, but I think there could easily come a day when in hindsight it would have been worth the effort to clarify legal aspects of the project. I personally would appreciate more legal clarity when pitching PLM using webERP. Even though I will be pitching to smaller disorganized design teams, they are often part of big services companies who get scared of any potential liability like the plague. Just explaining the GPL will be tough enough if "the boss" has to get permission!

The SVG webERP image in the WikiMedia Commons was created by "RafaelEChacon". I'll find his address in the mail list and email him directly about his SVG file. The entry claims the webERP logo dates from 2004, although the entry itself was only created last fall (Sept 2016).

I researched webERP.gif in the trunk branch of the repo, and got the following timeline:

IMHO, I think ownership of the name webERP can be claimed from 2005-02-01 when the name changed from "webERP+" to "webERP", and ownership of the current logo can be claimed from 2007-05-20, when the image was committed into the codebase.

If I recall and understand the mail archives correctly, "weberp.org" is considered to be an entity, which "owns" the webERP name (the letters) and logos (graphic representations of the name). The committers to the Sourceforge "web-erp" project are taken to make up the "weberp.org" entity (and also share copyright of the codebase). Phil owns the weberp.org domain, essentially on behalf of the "weberp.org" entity. Is this an accurate summary of the situation?

Given this scenario, I think the listed "Author" for the SVG file in Wikimedia Commons should be "weberp.org", and the "Date" should be 2007-05-20. I'm not sure if the "CC Attribution- Share alike" license is appropriate in the first place for visual images (it may be that a modified image is treated as an inherently different image), and it may be useful to discourage other logos by changing the license to "CC Attribution-NoDerivatives", implying someone can't change the logo unless they're willing to fork the project and change its name. However, IANAL!

By the way, I noticed there is a draft webERP article on the English Wikipedia that references the SVG file (See "File usage on other wikis"). There are released articles in the Spanish and Portuguese Wikipedia's, and I see Raphael and others are actively working on all three. Is there a plan underway to have the English page released?

Finally, and again IMHO, I think specifically describing the project's governance model on the website would also add clarity for larger organizations (i.e. the ones with lawyers). Based on my perception of how things run, it only needs to say that Phil is the project leader, providing leadership but also the sole authority for repo privileges, and the ultimate authority should consensus not be reached among the committers and a decision is required. Is this an accurate understanding?

To wrap things up, I've included a picture show. ;-)

Cheers!
Dale

1. 2004-02-23 Original webERP+ logo

[Image: oGAe1d6.png]

2. 2005-02-01 New webERP logo, dropped the "+"

[Image: yRuY5HL.png]

3. 2006-01-23 Changed to rounded lower-case logo

[Image: v4lbsnS.png]

4. 2007-05-20 Changed to current logo (this is Rafael's SVG derived work on Mediawiki Commons).

[Image: f1bdAeq.png]

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03-08-2017, 09:09 AM
Post: #4
RE: howto using weberp logo
Hi Dale, this is raking over old arguments, but the legal position is that the copyright to all contributions is and always has been owned by the authors of those contributions, unless they have specifically transferred that ownership in writing. For instance the GNU project will not accept any contributions to any of their projects unless the author has completed one of their copyright assignment forms and physically posted it to the GNU project in Boston. No such assignment statements have been signed in webERP (certainly not by me). Given Phil's history of dishonest behaviour towards me I certainly won't be assigning him ownership of the copyright to my code that I have committed to webERP. The same goes for the copyright of any logos that have been created.

Thanks
Tim
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03-08-2017, 10:22 AM
Post: #5
RE: howto using weberp logo
Hi Tim,

(03-08-2017 09:09 AM)falkoner Wrote:  the legal position is that the copyright to all contributions is and always has been owned by the authors of those contributions, unless they have specifically transferred that ownership in writing.

I fully agree with you here. When I said "The committers to the Sourceforge "web-erp" project ... share copyright of the codebase", I meant "sharing" in a general sense. You are correct of course that in the absence of a Copyright Assignment Agreement (CAA), which assigns the author's copyright to the project, each author will have copyright to the text they committed (and only the text they committed). As an aside, some projects use a Contributor License Agreement (CLA), with this approach an author retains copyright to their work but licenses it to the project. This prevents an author from exercising their copyright and revoking their commit (although it may also allow the project to use the code in ways the author didn't intend).

(03-08-2017 09:09 AM)falkoner Wrote:  The same goes for the copyright of any logos that have been created.

I do not agree with this part. My understanding of copyright is that it applies only to words, not to graphic images. Copyright can be claimed for the word "webERP" (possibly including capitalization), but not the square font, or that "web" is dark on a light background and "ERP" is light on a dark background. Trademark must be used to protect the "look" of a logo.

A while back I researched how open-source projects protect their names and logos, and found the most popular and successful approach was a layered one:
  • Use copyright to protect the name (e.g. "webERP" as text),
  • Use a logo based the name (e.g. "webERP" as a stylized image) so the text in the logo will be protected by copyright, and
  • Register the logo as a trademark to protect its visual appearance.

This approach prevents someone from representing themselves or their fork as the better or more "official" project by using the same name or similar logo, and mitigates any damage they can do to the credibility of the "real" project. However, even if copyright or a trademark are not registered, their historical use can still be argued as a defence (at least in Canada), which is why the commit in the repo and to the Wikipedia Commons are so important to establish precedent.

Cheers!

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03-08-2017, 05:26 PM
Post: #6
RE: howto using weberp logo
Hi Dale, the specific legal advice I obtained was on the code not on images. However a quick look here:

http://www.stockphotorights.com/faq/#copy

seems to imply that it also refers to images as well, but as I say I don't have specific legal advice on it, so maybe I shouldn't have commented on the images.

Tim
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03-09-2017, 04:51 AM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2017 05:08 AM by dalescott.)
Post: #7
RE: howto using weberp logo
Hi Tim, thanks for the reference. You were right to call me out on my claim that copyright doesn't apply to images because it does apply to artistic works. However, it also seems likely that the webERP logo will not be considered an artistic work.

Jonathan Bailey states in his Plaigarismtoday.com blog:, "In order for a work to have copyright protection, it must reach a requisite level of creativity. Many logos, however, do not. Since copyright can’t protect a name, colors or the design of the logo, most simple logos simply do not have the required level of creativity to be considered copyrightable. However, many ornate or artistic ones do."

The Government of Canada states that copyright covers "artistic works such as paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures and plans", implying there is a degree of complexity required for copyright to apply (consistent with Baily's interpretation), and recommends trademark to protect a brand.

Lawmart.com (U.S. again) states: "If you are interested in protecting a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, generally you want a trademark. Copyright law does not protect a bare phrase, slogan, or trade name.", implying the webERP logo does not meet the criteria for copyright protection.

I still recommend the three-pronged approach I outlined as the simplest and most effective strategy for a small organization using a simple logo based on their name. While the webERP logo may be protected under copyright, it would be best not to count on it - and a court decision would be needed to actually know for sure. However, IANAL and I have been looking at US and Canada copyright only, I'm sure there will be subtle (or not so subtle) differences in other jurisdictions.

Cheers!
Dale

P.S. Johathan Baily also wrote an interesting article for "Haunted Farms of America" on copyright and trademark, and how to avoid the law if you're setting up a haunted farm next halloween.

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